Hail the Gold and Blue

Survey Says: Alumni Want More Connection to 'Heart of Dear Old Emory'

Across demographic groups and generations, Emory’s alumni are loyal to their alma mater and willing to extol it to others—but they want to feel more connection to faculty, current students, and fellow alumni.

These revelations were among the results of a survey conducted earlier this year by the Performance Enhancement Group and commissioned by the Emory Alumni Association (EAA) to gauge alumni attitudes toward the university. The survey was the second of three to be conducted over five years by the group to help the EAA understand how alumni perceive and use their services. Results of the last survey were examined in Emory Magazine in 2012.

According to this year’s survey, alumni are happy they chose to attend Emory, had good experiences as students, and left the university well prepared for graduate school, careers, and community involvement. Correspondingly, 37 percent say they promote Emory at least occasionally to others, while 59 percent recommend the university regularly or “all the time.”

Among the influencing factors of respondents’ overall opinion of Emory, value and respect for degree top the list, followed by the accomplishments of faculty and students, providing scholarships for qualified students, accomplishments of fellow alumni, and Emory’s outreach to the community.

Emory is in the midst of a scholarship initiative that will give the university a competitive edge in recruiting the most qualified students by providing scholarship support at levels that meet or exceed peer institutions.

“This reinforces that we are investing in areas alumni are telling us are most valuable to them,” says Susan Cruse, senior vice president for development and alumni relations.

While use of Emory’s alumni benefits and services had the least sway over respondents’ opinion, most would welcome more information on career-related activities, specific school programs, and alumni activities.

“We are working on better sharing Emory’s story, those things we are doing to reconnect alumni with campus, and the amazing things happening here,” says Sarah Cook 95C, senior associate vice president for alumni affairs. “Our alumni had overwhelmingly positive experiences at Emory, and we want to continue to foster them as active members of the Emory community, no matter where they live.”

The EAA’s department of Alumni Career Services offers career resources, online networking, job postings, recruitment of Emory-educated talent, and volunteer opportunities.

“The positive feelings of our alumni about Emory came through loud and clear in the survey. The majority had great student experiences, and they have wonderful feelings about the faculty they learned from and the organizations they participated in,” Cook says. “It is our role to help them reconnect and renew that feeling through the opportunities we provide.”

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